It looks like Google Drive will no longer offer an alternative way to browse your Google Photos library from July, according to changes to the latest APK noted by Android Police.
What’s this, you ask? Photos? There’s an app for that already, you tell me gently. (I appreciate such gentle conduct, by the way)
As amazing as it may seem, there was a time that Google Photos didn’t exist. During this dark time, a beast known as Google+ offered a simple hassle-free backup solution for all of the photos on your device.
Rather than making the photos public (as you might expect from Google+ being as it were a social network), the photos appeared in Google Drive where users could browse then and make sure their backups were working.
As Google+ went away, Google took its photo backup and starting functionality and crafted it into what we now know as the very very excellent Google Photos. The old Drive connectivity remained, but the logo was changed to that of the new Photos service. Google’s even given users the option to turn it off.
And so, we’re now caught up – just in time to see it all go away.
Android Police discovered two pretty telling strings in the recent Drive APK:
Starting in July, your Google Photos library will no longer sync to Google Drive. All your files are safe in Google Photos.
Your Google Photos folder is no longer syncing with Google Photos. Your photos are all safe in Google Photos.
It looks like the writing’s on the wall – your Google Photos will no longer be accessible from Google Drive come July.
I’m not going to miss it. I’ve had the feature turned off since Google Photos launched. I can’t think of a point at which I’ve needed it.
I don’t mean to mock – well, maybe I do a little. Your shouldn’t need the Drive integration any more.
Google Photos offers much better search with object and facial recognition to make finding specific photos simple. There’s apps for Android and iOS and a really good web interface for the service.
There are going to be some people who are legitimately using this feature who’ll be up in arms about it though – maybe it’s part of a workflow, maybe something else, and it’s going to suck for them to have to change – but you’d have to expect that Google’s done their research, found how many people have the option switched off, and decided we’ve reached a tipping point.
There’s been no official announcement of the change, but with July bearing down on us almost as quickly as June we’d expect some kind of announcement to come pretty soon.